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Hate-crimes law: Another attack on free speech
Posted By Tom Tancredo On 10/24/2009 @ 12:00 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled
The Senate has now passed the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act to add homosexuals and “transgendered” to the list of the officially designated victim groups. The House already approved the bill, and President Obama plans on signing it.
I am against the idea of hate crimes to begin with. When it comes to murderers and rapists, I’m an egalitarian. No matter what race, religion, creed or sexual preference of the perpetrator, I think we should throw the book at them.
But we already have laws against violent crime. The only purpose of hate-crime legislation is to stifle politically incorrect speech. The left repeatedly claims that there is absolutely no way that these laws will be used to criminalize speech. Yet, at the same time, they are claiming that conservatism fuels hate crimes.
The open-borders lobby uses this tactic to silence opposition to illegal immigration by associating it with violence against Hispanics. Last year, Barack Obama blamed Lou Dobbs and Rush Limbaugh for “feeding a kind of xenophobia” that is the “reason why hate crimes against Hispanic people doubled last year.”
Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., wrote a letter to the secretary of commerce complaining that he hears the words “‘illegal-alien lobby,’ ‘amnesty agenda,’ ‘criminal illegal aliens’ … broadcast on our nation’s television, radio and Internet outlets,” and demanded the Commerce Department produce a study of “the relationship between telecommunications and hate crimes.”
And we’re not supposed to worry about hate-crimes legislation censoring free speech!
While the Matthew Shepard Act adds yet another politically protected victim group, we need to expand the number of perpetrator groups when reporting hate crimes. What do I mean by this?
Hate-crime statistics are compiled from the FBI’s “Hate Crime Incident Report,” which lists 21 different “bias motivations” such as antiblack, anti-Muslim, anti-Arab and anti-Hispanic.
Oddly, under the current hate-crimes rules, the only category for criminals are Native American, White, Black, Asian and multiracial. So if a bunch of MS-13 gang members attack an African-American, it’s listed as “White on Black.” If Arab Muslims spray-paint a synagogue, it is “White on Jewish.” But if a white attacks a Hispanic or Arab, it’s listed as “White on Hispanic” or “White on Arab.”
A recent case in New York City shows both how illogical the FBI’s categories are and how the left uses hate crimes to promote their agenda.
On Oct. 13, Daniel Aleman and Daniel Rodriguez, both Hispanic, kicked and stomped on white gay man Jack Price while yelling antigay slurs … in Spanish. They put Price in a coma and broke his ribs and jaw.
The left wasted no time exploiting the crime. Last Saturday, hundreds of gay-rights protesters marched alongside Democratic politicians to protest the attack (as if anyone supported it!).
One of the speakers blamed the violence on the fact the Shepard Act had not passed yet and went on to “bet my last megaphone that these two young men were never educated about gay people. We need education in every single grade.”
Democrat City Councilman Tony Avella agreed and proposed that the city should appoint a “deputy mayor for human rights to educate kids” about homosexuality. He added, “The one thing that has to happen [to prevent hate crimes] is marriage equality so that people see that gays and lesbians are equal to everyone.”
The march was not about stopping violence, but promoting gay marriage and indoctrination in schools.
And even though two Hispanics attacked a white, the FBI will report this as an “antigay” crime committed by whites. How ridiculous is that?
In a similar case in 2008, two African-American men beat Jose Osvaldo Sucuzhana to death because they mistakenly thought he was gay and yelled antigay slurs. The media obsessed over the race of the victim and ignored the race of the criminals. For good measure they blamed the attack on immigration-control advocates. But while the FBI will report Price’s Hispanic attackers as whites, they reported Sucuzhana as a victim of “anti-Hispanic” violence.
This reinforces the stereotypes that only white heterosexual males commit hate crimes, while all victims are from politically correct groups.
We need to get beyond race and not obsess over these various categories. But if we are stuck with hate-crime laws, we should not let the left distort the statistics to demonize whites and censor conservatives.
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